So what are the Huskies getting in Ty Jones?
To see Jones’ junior HUDL film, click HERE.
For one thing, Washington hasn’t had a bigger, physical receiver like Jones since Damore’ea Stringfellow, and before that, Kasen Williams. Brayden Lenius has the similar size, but he’s not physical like Jones, and isn’t quite as fast. Lenius has the skill, but Jones couples that same skill with more brutishness.
His strength really shows up at the line of scrimmage when defensive backs try to match him physically. They can’t. His hand-fighting is good, but it’s his combination of size and power that really allows him to get separation. He hasn’t really had to work his mechanics all that much, but Bush Hamdan will get on that pronto the moment Jones shows up to Montlake. Once his footwork matches the rest of his body, Jones should be a real handful for Pac-12 secondaries.
His ball skills are there for everyone to see. Haven’t really seen a high school player that good in the air since Williams. Most of the time Jones just has the height and ability to get to the ball better than most, but even when he’s matched up physically he battles hard to win and his hands are sure so he comes up with tough catches even when in heavy traffic.
And when he gets the ball, that’s when Jones shines. 989 yards off only 53 catches means Ty knows how to find the YAC. A lot of that is due to his strength allowing him to shuffle off defenders, but it’s also because of his speed. He’s never going to break away with elite burst, but Jones has plenty of wheels for a player listed at 6-foot-4.
He hasn’t been asked to block much, so he’ll need to polish up that part of his game to match the physical nature of his play with the ball in his hands. But for the most part, it’s easy to see why the UW coaches are excited about Jones’ potential: he’s a big, athletic wideout with speed that is only going to get bigger, faster, and stronger in their system.
And one more note: Petersen rarely likes to take commitments from prospects if they haven't visited UW. Jones is expected to make it to Seattle with his family at the end of May to put the finishing touches on his recruitment. The fact that the Huskies were actively seeking to put a wrap on Jones before he ever stepped foot on campus to check out the fit tells you how important getting Jones in the fold was for the coaches. He was a big priority in this recruiting class.
What does it mean for the Washington receivers group going forward?
Here’s one possible depth chart as to how the receiver group could look like for the Huskies in 2017:
John Ross III (5-11, 196, Sr.)
Dante Pettis (6-1, 187, Sr.)
Brayden Lenius (6-5, 228, Sr.)
Nik Little (6-5, 212, Sr.)
Isaiah Renfro (6-1, 207, Jr.)
Chico McClatcher (5-7, 176, Jr.)
Andre Baccellia (5-10, 166, So.)
Quinten Pounds (5-11, 170, So.)
Aaron Fuller (6-0, 177, RFr.)
Jordan Chin (6-0, 151, RFr.)
Terrell Bynum (6-1, 177, Fr.)
Alex Cook (6-2, 170, Fr.)
Ty Jones (6-4, 200, Fr.)
Connor Griffin (6-3, 225, Sr.)*
Forrest Dunivin (6-4, 200, Sr.)*
Taelon Parson (6-1, 195. Sr.)*
Max Richmond (5-9, 182, Jr.)*
John Gardner (6-3, 183, Jr.)*
Jamon Jones (6-3, 227, So.)*
Josh Rasmussen (5-11, 188, So.)*
Man, that’s a lot of receivers, so something is going to have to give. We already know Renfro is a question mark after missing spring to tend to personal matters. Could there be others that fall by the wayside? One thing we know after doing this all these years; there is always attrition. It usually happens when you don’t see it coming, and sometimes it’s players you don’t expect. Either way, the UW coaches know the score and they know what kind of class and position balance they are looking for.
The other thing that might happen is if Ross and Pettis kill it, could they jump for an early move to the NFL? Absolutely. But they’d really need uber-productive seasons in 2016 to envision that as a viable move for either player. Never say never.
What does this mean for Washington going forward in terms of landing more quality for the 2017 class?
With Jones following Terrell Bynum and Alex Cook, Washington should be done in 2017 for receivers. They made those three their top receiving targets, and new WR Coach Bush Hamdan closed the deals on all three with authority.
To compare: former UW WR Coach Brent Pease got his first receiver commit for the 2016 - Aaron Fuller - in mid-July last year. And Fuller was rated the 115th receiver for that class. Cook is Scout.com’s No. 76 receiver for 2017, and from a rankings perspective he’s the lowest-ranked receiver in Washington’s 2017 receiver class. Bynum is ranked No. 12 and Jones No. 69.
So when you look at those numbers, there is no comparison: Hamdan, in just his first full recruiting cycle, has already killed it over any year under Pease.
Jones is Washington’s seventh verbal commitment for the 2017 class. Working under the assumption the Huskies take roughly 17 signees in that class, UW is close to half-way done - and it’s mid-May. We always talk about recruiting cycles coming earlier and earlier, and also how Petersen doesn’t like that trend one bit. But give Pete credit. He has adapted and understood just how important it is to get a head start for the classes ahead when they hit the recruiting trail the cycle before to nail down commitments for that current class. It’s paying off right now.
They don’t have a quarterback yet, but there’s ever reason to believe that will be resolved within the next few weeks. If they don’t have a 2017 quarterback sorted out by Independence Day I’ll be stunned. That makes eight, and with prospects making quicker decisions every day don’t be surprised if the Huskies get to double-digits for commitments by September 1st. Recruits want to be done by then if they have no interest in dragging it out, and both players and coaches want to get laser-focused on the season at hand.
Also, one final note: Jones is the first Utah-based player to commit to the Huskies since Judge Memorial’s Cort Dennison became a Dawg for the 2007 season. That’s too long to have a dry spell in a state known for producing some very good college prospects. Who knows if Jones’ commitment means more players looking north from the Beehive State, but UW should always be a player for Utah’s top talent. They may only get one every couple years, but they shouldn’t have to go a decade between commitments. That’s too long.